Lino Lago: Odalisque
May 29th – July 29th, 2021
Solana Beach, California – Madison Gallery announces Lino Lago’s ODALISQUE, the Spanish painter’s second solo exhibition with Madison Gallery. Lino Lago is known for his bold splashes of color over realistic oil-painted portraits, creating a palimpsest of the old and the new. In this exhibition Lino explores the historically significant theme of Odalisque in works by master painters of bygone eras, such as the 16th century painter Titian and the great 19th century French Neoclassicist, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
“I believe the biggest challenge we face now is the correct understanding of our tradition and novelty. So, the question is, How original are we? My paintings present the fight between tradition and novelty. This is for me the most important theme in our lives – a universal one. Consciously I sacrifice part of “our modern” originality by painting old masters’ women’s portraits as the base of my works. That part of the painting represents the standard, the tradition, the normative. These portraits are covered by a colorful layer letting us see a small part of it through a single improvised twisted line. I like to see that bright pure color as a symbol of the new, the present, the near… but, in some way also as the thing that makes us blind.
Odalisque, is one of the feminine-form representations in Academic painting of the 19th century, as we see for example in Dominique Ingres. We can be surprised that his most famous Odalisque was commissioned by a woman, Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister. Women commissioning this kind of nude was something common at that time. Contrary to what we may think, women’s nudes were reflections of powerful women. I (dare) to compare to the FEMEN, feminist protesters of today. The Odalisque in its time, being probably bolder than FEMEN or nudes in contemporary happenings. Dominique Ingres’ The Grand Odalisque itself was not well understood (even accused of archaicism) in his time but revindicated by 20th century modernity.
This is a rule in History: People can’t see the “whole picture” living in their own times. We need the perspective of time to see more clearly. The present’s noise is distorted by different subjectivities, points of view and interest. I see that part of that noise is the misinterpretation of the past. In my paintings I try to symbolize that matter of fact: We understand and see just a small part of the reality. That clash of views, basically tradition and novelty, is what the Fake Abstract paintings represent for me” -Lino Lago on the exhibition Odalisque